Bhutan Ride – Exploration in the Himalayan Kingdom
April 18-24, 2018
Spots are limited on this departure to 30 people. This is an all-hotel trip (No camping.) Double occupancy. A single supplement may be available if you prefer your own room (if there is availability at the hotels), otherwise, you will be paired with another participant.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the only remaining Shangri-La, Bhutan. It’s a country of vertiginous mountains steeped in traditional Buddhist culture that has remained virtually unchanged by the forces of modernity. Tourism is tightly controlled and visitors to the remote kingdom encounter ancient monasteries, colorful prayer flags, and unsurpassed natural beauty.
In the 1970s, Bhutan suffered from poverty, lack of education, and high infant mortality rates. Its King and government looked for ways to engage with the outside world without exploiting its people and natural resources like many neighboring countries. It championed a new approach to development where prosperity is measured not by GDP, but by Gross National Happiness. Its success is measured by sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance.
As much of the world has struggled with massive environmental destruction and social inequity, this emerging democracy is attracting a lot of attention. In the last 20 years, Bhutan has doubled life expectancy, enrolled 100% of children in school, and protected its natural beauty (three-quarters is still forested and 25% of the country is designated as national parks). It has banned export logging and encourages cycling by taxing private vehicles. The country has pledged to be carbon neutral.
This great Happiness experiment faces an enormous challenge – its vulnerability to climate change. Bhutan’s people are still among the poorest in the world and they are dependent on agriculture. The country is counting on hydropower to support its careful modernization. While Bhutan has successfully protected its culture and natural resources, if the world does not take action to address climate change, this country’s efforts to place sustainable economics at the forefront of its governance could crumble.
During Climate Ride Bhutan you will experience powerful traditions, spirituality, and breathtaking beauty. Local environmental experts will provide you with unparalleled access and understanding. You’ll experience stunning bike routes and an unforgettable combination of passion and purpose. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a country where people and the environment prosper together.
Special note: Did you know that rhododendrons are native to Bhutan? Our local guides have helped us plan this event to coincide with the spring bloom when the valleys and forests are awash in color.
This is a special Climate Ride Funders Trip. Proceeds directly support Climate Ride’s work. Your fundraising on Climate Ride Bhutan helps support our Diversity scholarships and our programs focused on education, building community, connecting generations, and funding sustainability work. All donations are tax-deductible.
This is an all-hotel trip (no camping). Hybrid/Mountain bikes are included. (90% of roads are paved in Bhutan. Mountain bikes are preferred for comfort.)
There are no transfers or exceptions for this event. Donations are non-refundable. Cancellations must take place 65 days before the event start date.
Trip Dates: April 18 -24, 2018
Start Location: Bangkok, Thailand
End Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Fundraising Commitment: $5,000
Trip Length: 7 days
Included: Bhutan Visa; Group flight to/from Bangkok to Paro; Bike and helmet; Hotels, meals, snacks once we arrive in Bhutan.
Not Included: Travel Insurance to cover your travel; travel to/from Bangkok; incidentals and alcohol
If you wish to stay extra days in Bhutan, we can help you to arrange this with our in-country guides.
Event Itinerary Overview (Your Travel Planner will include full details)
Day 1: Arrival in Paro, Bhutan. Shuttle to Thimphu
Day 2: 15 km cycling around Thimphu (visits to the Zorig Chusum, Folk Heritage Museum, National Library, and the Buddha Point).
Day 3: 63 km cycling from Thimpu to Punakha via Dochula Pass. Visit Royal Botanical Park and Chimmi Ihakang Temple.
Day 4: 20 km cycling around Punakha. Visit Castle of Great Happiness, the longest suspension bridge in the country, Khamsum Yulay Namgyel Temple, and cycling through paddy fields and villages. This evening we’ll meet conservation experts.
Day 5: 57 km cycling Punakha to Paro. Visit temples, the Paro Rimpung Dzong, and visit the College of Education to talk with students about climate change.
Day 6: Hiking to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Day 7: Transfer from Paro to Bangkok